Verses 31–40

I. The next thing ordered to be made for the furnishing of God’s palace was a rich stately candlestick, all of pure gold, not hollow, but solid. The particular directions here given concerning it show, 1. That it was very magnificent, and a great ornament to the place; it had many branches drawn from the main shaft, which had not only their bowls (to put the oil and the kindled wick in) for necessity, but knops and flowers for ornament. 2. That it was very convenient, and admirably contrived both to scatter the light and to keep the tabernacle clean from smoke and snuffs. 3. That it was very significant. The tabernacle had no windows by which to let in the light of the day, all its light was candle-light, which intimates the comparative darkness of that dispensation, while the Sun or righteousness had not as yet risen, nor had the day-star from on high yet visited his church. Yet God left not himself without witness, nor them without instruction; the commandment was a lamp, and the law a light, and the prophets were branches from that lamp, which gave light in their several ages to the Old-Testament church. The church is still dark, as the tabernacle was, in comparison with what it will be in heaven; but the word of God is the candlestick, a light shining in a dark place (2 Pet. 1:19), and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. The Spirit of God, in his various gifts and graces, is compared to the seven lamps which burn before the throne, Rev. 4:5. The churches are golden candlesticks, the lights of the world, holding forth the word of life as the candlestick does the light, Phil. 2:15, 16. Ministers are to light the lamps, and snuff them (Exod. 25:37), by opening the scriptures. The treasure of this light is now put into earthen vessels, 2 Cor. 4:6, 7. The branches of the candlestick spread every way, to denote the diffusing of the light of the gospel into all parts by the Christian ministry, Matt. 5:14, 15. There is a diversity of gifts, but the same Spirit gives to each to profit withal.

II. There is in the midst of these instructions an express caution given to Moses, to take heed of varying from his model: Make them after the pattern shown thee, Exod. 25:40. Nothing was left to his own invention, or the fancy of the workmen, or the people’s humour; but the will of God must be religiously observed in every particular. Thus, 1. All God’s providences are exactly according to his counsels, and the copy never varies from the original. Infinite Wisdom never changes its measures; whatever is purposed shall undoubtedly be performed. 2. All his ordinances must be administered according to his institutions. Christ’s instruction to his disciples (Matt. 28:20) is similar to this: Observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.